Philadelphia Phillies Should Hold on to Shane Victorino

July 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

After Shane Victorino was benched Sunday, there are numerous rumors that he’ll soon be off the team, with the Dodgers reportedly interested in reacquiring a player who started his career in their organization.

This is part of the crisis mood ensuing because of the Phillies’ returning to “use Lifebouy soap…and they still stink” status in the standings.  Below average in both hitting and pitching, the Phillies appear to be cleaning house.

Despite his .245 batting average this season, .680 OPS, 23 extra-base hits and 0.7 WAR, I think the Phillies should hold on to Victorino. Here’s why.


Batting ills not the problem

Honestly, batting isn’t the Phillies’ problem.  They’re only slightly below average despite Ryan Howard and Chase Utley being injured for long stretches, and Jimmy Rollins having a horrendous start to the season. 

What they should be worrying about is their bullpen, which has ceded a 4.76 ERA, .757 OPS and 16 defeats in relief.  Each of those stats is in the bottom six in the majors.   


Bad idea to sell low

If the Phillies dump Victorino now, they won’t get much for him—or at least not as much as they could if they wait.  There’s no way they’ll get something for Victorino that can turn this season around, so you might as well hold on to him.



Not that much of a drop-off

Victorino is only batting .031 below his career average and .034 below his average last season.  His numbers for doubles and homers haven’t fallen off that much either.

It’s certainly possible that Victorino will  bounce back, either this season or, if re-signed, next season.  After all, he’s a two-time All-Star and is only 32, meaning he could still have a couple halfway decent seasons ahead of him. 

If he does have a bad season in 2012, the Phillies can sign him at a discount and spend the discount on another good bullpen arm.


What about baserunning and fielding?

Batting is not the only stat to consider in a center fielder.  You have to look at baserunning and fielding now.

Victorino is great at both baserunning and fielding this season, perhaps the best in his career.

He already has more stolen bases this season alone than he had in all of 2011.  In addition, the three-time Gold Glove winner is perfect in fielding this season, making almost 500 putouts without an error.

In short, the Phillies should hold on to Victorino, then ink him in the offseason at the level he’s been playing now, which will be a bargain.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Just Waive Jim Thome Already

May 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

In the offseason, with Ryan Howard out for an extended period of time, the Philadelphia Phillies grabbed Jim Thome for $1.25 million. 

That experiment has run its course, and it’s time for the club to part ways with the aging bat.

Here are six reasons why:


1.  He’s hurt

Thome has been on the DL all month with a bad back. In the past, he’s had troubles with his elbow and his legs. Even if comes back in a week or two, whether he will be 100 percent is doubtful.  

2.  He can’t field to save his life

Thome has 137 career errors, and career is 31 total-zone, total-fielding runs below average. He has a career -17.1 defensive wins-above-replacement and has 13 seasons of a dWAR of -0.5 or worse.  

Also, did I mention he has no legs?

3.  Nor can he hit anymore

This season with the Phillies, Thome has gone 2-for-18, hasn’t scored, hasn’t driven anybody in and hasn’t had an extra base hit. He’s had only three home runs and only seven extra-base hits in his last 103 plate appearances.  

4.  Philly already has enough first basemen

Off the top of your head, can you tell me how many people have played first for the Phillies in the last month and a half?

If you said “five,” you’re correct: the other four are Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix and Hector Luna.

Of those five, the one with the lowest batting average at the position is…Thome.  The only one without an extra-base hit is…Thome.

To be fair, Nix is on the DL, and Mayberry is really more of a converted outfielder, but that still leaves Wiggington, who is batting .308 with 10 RBIs and an .814 OPS when at the first base position.

And journeyman Triple-A callup Luna to back him up rather than Thome.     

5.  Ryan Howard will be back soon

Howard replaced Thome at first base for the Phillies in 2005. Then, Thome replaced Howard at first at the beginning of this season. Howard has begun an extended rehab assignment in Clearwater and will be ready to again replace Thome before the All-Star break, possibly well before.   

6.  It’s time for Thome to retire

Thome will be 42 before the season is over. He hasn’t hit 30 homers since 2008. He hasn’t had 250 total bases or even played 130 games in a season since then either.

In the past seven seasons, he’s fielded a grand total of 55 innings. He’s stolen one base in the last decade. 

He’s either cemented his case for the Hall of Fame, or is at the point where he can’t do anything more to help it.

Bottom line: The Phillies need to waive Jim Thome.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies